Below appears a question I intend to submit to “Light.” It provides a snapshot of this moment in my evolving cosmology. “Light” may or may not answer. I invite responses from you who read this blog.
Please critique the following POV. Please be patient; it’s long.
For some time, I have been pondering God as the All. If this is so, then God’s own being must comprehend (include) Darkness and evil as well as goodness and Light (Isaiah 45:7).
I understand from Ambrose Worrall that an energy that may be called the life force, or qi, permeates the universe. In the past I have supposed this to be Light. Now I question that.
From the description of Psychic Vandalism, I gather that in the spiritual world Darkness is not merely the absence of Light, but rather its opposite; a substance itself, that corresponds against Light as does anti-matter against matter.
Judaism teaches that each of us has an inclination toward good (the yetzer hatov) and an inclination toward evil (the yetzer hara). I adduce that activity of the yetzer hatov emanates Light, and that of the yetzer hara emanates Darkness. I observe that activity of the yetzer hara meets no cosmic resistance; it requires no effort.
Then that activity must not be changing Light into Darkness, but we create Light and Darkness from some other, primordial energy that is neither one. This I take for the energy of which Worrall speaks — qi or prana or libido (amoral).
Emmet Fox uses the analogy of the soul as a garden hose, saying that when one steps on the hose one restricts the flow of the life force. From the description, however, it seems to me stepping on the hose doesn’t restrict qi, but effects the creation of Darkness. Stepping on the hose may be tantamount to self-consciousness (Genesis 2:25, 3:7).
If the qi is neither Light nor Darkness, one can surmise that perhaps the All is impersonal and finally indifferent toward humanity. The “God” of 1 John 1:5, 4:8 and 16 may be the projected personification of one’s ideals, of the human being’s noblest capabilities. In that case, what matters is not that God is gracious, but that “I” (“Everyman”) am gracious; not that God loves, but that I love. Grace is self-love. I have been much tempted to despair that we get no extra-personal help to pursue righteousness, but there is basis for hope in that humanity is always free to choose Light.
A number of factors have put me in the situation of living among a**holes, whom I define as people who constantly produce poop (wastes). Like it or not, my ministry is to them.
The “Chaos Factor” originally was a term we came up with in my congregation to account for the community’s inability to respond to any structure we create. For example, a few years back efforts were made to start a children’s Sunday school, but failed because it was impossible to get the same children to show up any two weeks in a row. We have a “client choice” food pantry that served ~400 families each month in 2012; but when per our donors’ requirements we began requiring that people “register” in advance to participate, only 12 families did. IOW their lives are in such a mess they can’t even think straight to sign up for free food!
They may be said to inhabit “The Other Side” (sitra achra) or “Chaos” (Tohu).
I want to understand Jesus’ ministry to them (Luke 5:31-32; Matthew 9:36).
I observe that most of these people display arrested development, being fixated in what Freud called the oral phase. (You’d be surprised how many “gangstahs” suck “they” thumbs.) My current theory: (1) When a free-willed entity ingests qi, according to the predisposition of the inactive will, it immediately transforms a portion of the qi into Light (soul fuel or soul food) and the rest into Darkness (wastes). (2) Growth out of infantilism requires vast work, vast Light. These folk are born karmically predisposed to produce so much Darkness (spiritual poop) that they don’t have enough qi left to produce the Light they need to perform this work.
Ministry to them, then, like ministry to anyone, is a matter of coaxing the individual to produce Light rather than Darkness.
I hope for your response.